It was announced by WWE on Wednesday morning that they will debuting a new 12-episode show on Facebook called Mixed Match Challenge that will debut on Tuesday, January 16 at 10pmET following Smackdown. Here’s more info from WWE.com:
Facebook and WWE today announced a new in-ring series, Mixed Match Challenge, that will stream live in the U.S. exclusively on Facebook on Tuesday nights beginning Jan.16 at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT. The 12-episode series will air on Facebook Watch and feature WWE Superstars from both the Raw and SmackDown LIVE rosters competing in a single-elimination mixed tag-team tournament to win $100,000 to support the charity of their choice.
Each 20-minute episode will reflect a progressive approach to production, with elements optimized for mobile consumption, experimentation and social interaction, including the ability for the WWE Universe to engage with Superstars during the show. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to select matchups, match stipulations and more, on Facebook.
In other words, it will be mixed tag matches with Raw wrestlers against Smackdown wrestlers.
Here’s a listing of talent involved in the show, also from WWE.com:
Fans will have the opportunity to vote on Facebook for the final competitor from the Raw roster, as well as which tag team member of The New Day will be added to the SmackDown LIVE roster. Teams will be announced beginning Thursday, Jan. 4.
Monday Night Raw SmackDown LIVE
Alexa Bliss Becky Lynch Alicia Fox Bobby Roode Asuka Carmella Bayley Charlotte Flair Braun Strowman Jimmy Uso Enzo Amore Lana Finn Bálor Naomi Goldust Natalya Nia Jax Rusev Sasha Banks Sami Zayn The Miz Shinsuke Nakamura Final Fan Vote Final Fan Vote
(A member of The New Day)
Here’s are three videos about it:
There was a report a few weeks ago from Pro Wrestling Sheet about WWE planning a show with Facebook, so kudos to them for getting it right.
It’s a live show starting in January that has 12 episodes, so that likely means it’s a test run to see if the experiment works and then go from there.
What this also means is that 205 Live will likely be taped before Smackdown on Tuesday nights, which is probably for the best because it might make the crowd care more about the matches.
TJR Thoughts: Since the show is only going to be 20 minutes long, it’s not that much more new content. I think that’s a good thing. Too much more content would be hard to handle, but for 20 minutes I don’t think most fans will mind checking it out on Facebook.
I’m not a huge fan of mixed tag matches, but perhaps with some smart booking they can have some good matches. There’s just limitations with what you can do since the guys can’t go against the girls obviously, so there’s less drama for a hot tag, for example. The matches will be repetitive because of that. I hope it works out. I’m not sure if it will.
Clash of Champions Lineup
The last WWE pay-per-view of 2017 is Clash of Champions, which takes place this Sunday, December 17 in Boston. The card appears to be finalized now with two matches added on Smackdown including a battle of former tag team partners in the Kickoff Show match.
WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal
Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura (Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan are both referees) – If Zayn & Owens lose they are fired from WWE.
Fatal 4-Way Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos vs. The New Day vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. Rusev & Aiden English
Rules for this match from WWE.com: There will be four Superstars in the ring at all times until there’s a pinfall or a submission and each competitor is only able to tag their partner.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Lumberjack Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya
United States Championship: Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder (Kickoff Show)
Three quick thoughts without giving away full predictions because I need to save those for the preview on Friday:
– The tag match with Zayn and Owens vs. Orton and Nakamura may go on last due to all the star power with Shane and Bryan involved too. That should be a heel win though, so I can see Styles vs. Mahal going last as well because Styles is likely to retain the title and ending the show with a good guy victory is a smart way to do it.
– I feel bad for Rawley and Ryder because they should have been on Smackdown last night to at least do quick promos talking about their match. They also should be on the main card rather than just the Kickoff Show. If you’re going to invest in a tag team for a couple of years (counting their NXT run too) then I think when they break up, they should be given a chance to have a blowoff match on a main card. They’re going into the match cold since they didn’t even get to be on Smackdown this week. Ryder wasn’t on last week either. It makes them look like losers.
– The booking that was done to set up Corbin vs. Roode vs. Ziggler was so lazy and uninspired. Last week it was Ziggler, who interrupted a Corbin vs. Roode match. This week it was Roode, who interrupted a Corbin vs. Ziggler match. That’s it? There just isn’t anything interesting about it.
I have mild expectations for this show. It just looks very average. Our preview will be up on Friday or Saturday.
IN OTHER NEWS
– NXT airs on USA Network in the United States tonight at 7pmET/6pmCT. Here are the announced matches from the show that was taped weeks ago.
Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole in the series of matches to determine then next #1 Contender for the NXT Title.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Fabian Aichner in a non-title match.
The Authors of Pain vs. Danny Burch and Orney Lorcan.
Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce in a non-title match.
It’s a pretty good lineup. The episode will also be on WWE Network, which is where I’ll watch it. Our NXT reviewer Kurt Zamora will have a review up later tonight or tomorrow.
– Sad news for former WWE Tough Enough Winner Matt Cappotelli, who has terminal brain cancer and was told he has only five years to live. (TMZ)
Cappotelli is doing his best to remain positive: “Though it seems unfortunate, I want it to be portrayed as a story of hope — unending hope.”
There’s a Go Fund Me page set up for Matt to help with his medical bills.
It’s so sad to see that. He’s only 38 years old and he’s been dealing with this issue for over 15 years. I feel bad for the guy. Thoughts and prayers with him and his family during this difficult time.
– Titus O’Neil did a great thing for some kids from different organizations in Florida by taking them to see the new Ferdinand animated movie starring John Cena. Check out his Instagram post below.
Last Night was a Very Special Night for me for several reasons. I had the Honor of hosting 160 Tampa Bay Area Kids&Families including my own from 6Different Organizations/Schools to see @ferdinandmovie and enjoy themselves with no worries about Finances as Everything was covered including popcorn and drinks. It was special to me because as a youth going to the movies was something that my mother just couldn’t afford to do for us because she was stressed with Just keeping a roof over our head&Food etc for us. I could see a lot of my story in the families that came last night no matter what color the faces were the story of them being Grateful for someone thinking to invite them to Enjoy themselves at no cost at all other than to show up with a smile on their face was All I needed to see to not only be Humbled but also even more Grateful to everyone that had a hand in Getting me to where I am today starting with my Mother Daria Bullard. I can never repay all that my mother and others have done for me ,but what I can do is continue to live my Life to Be a Blessing to this world and to the People in it from All walks of Life. Thank You @20thcenturyfox and @blueskystudios for helping this Moment happen and I’m looking forward to doing it again Very soon!! To those that I Know and even those that I Don’t “I Love You&I Believe In You” Go Be Great today!!! #Blessed #ContentOfCharacter thanks @octaviojones for covering along with my man @derekperez1
Good job, Titus. He’s a great guy.
THE VIDEO SECTION
Former WWE superstar Colin Delaney, who was mainly on the ECW brand in 2008, was one of the guys that the Bludgeon Brothers beat up on Smackdown this week. They called him a different name, so I had no idea until WWE posted an interview with him.
– There’s a new episode of Total Divas tonight at 9pmET on E Network. Here’s a preview clip with a warning that this is 90 seconds of badly scripted “entertainment” where adult women toilet paper a hotel room as if they were teenagers. Please get better writers.
Check out my Smackdown review from Tuesday night in case you missed it. Here’s one of my favorite Smackdown matches ever with Edge facing Eddie Guerrero in a No DQ match from September 26, 2002. It’s awesome.
That’s all for today. I’ll be back tomorrow for more.